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Real world transfer speeds for esata and usb 3.0

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October 29, 2010 7:25:01 PM

Hello,
I am interested in buying a usb 3.0 dock, but hoping to know the average real world transfer rates? I don't really want to drop $90 on a dual usb 3.0 dock and pci card if I won't get much better transfer speeds than my esata dock.

What do you guys get in esata transfers? I was averaging 51 mb/sec when transferring 830 gb and that took hours and hours. I hear it was 90 mb/sec average would would almost reduce transferring files in half which would be fantastic in my book.

Thanks for any advice and insight into your vast knowledge!
October 29, 2010 8:07:41 PM

Anyone have any information please.
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a c 371 G Storage
October 29, 2010 8:24:38 PM

You can't push a drive past it's physical limitations. If you're getting 50Mb/s on an eSATA, you probably won't get much more on USB3. You didn't specify which drive you have, but most drives can't even come close to SATA2 speeds (3Gb/s).
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a c 342 G Storage
October 29, 2010 8:37:05 PM

51 MB/s is a a bit slow for eSATA. I don't know what is causing that. In general, both eSATA and USB3 are limited by the HDD capability itself. So, if the HDD is limiting the transfer by eSATA, changing to USB3 will not make a difference.

Any clue what is causing this speed? Are you timing a transfer from the external HDD on eSATA to an internal HDD? (Or the opposite direction). If the HDD mounted in the external unit were mounted inside instead, would the speed be different? Do you have the most recent drivers for your eSATA port and the external device? Are you timing a straight data transfer, or is this a process that also includes a second step to validate (read and compare) the copy made?
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October 29, 2010 9:19:09 PM

Sounds like your esata dock is limiting your speeds more than esata at least if you're getting faster transfer with USB.

I've tested using PCI esata cards and for 500gb or 1tb(forget test sizes) it was around 12.5ish hours for esata and 15ish hours for USB.

I could try to stare and say MB/S or calculate it but I don't have hard facts in front of me and am going off memory, besides the amount of time it actually takes is what's important generally anyway.

In addition I imagine it'll get better in Win 7 and on but in XP when doing 400GB+transfers through USB the buffer has a high tendancy to go corrupt which makes esata which lets the HDD acts as in internal(not sure whats up with your dock).

If you expect faster from USB 3 because you saw a commercial then I wouldn't buy for that reason.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 29, 2010 9:40:18 PM

Whether or not an average speed of 51MByte/sec is fast or slow depends entirely on what kind of drive you have. What kind is it? "Green" drives and drives in a laptop form factor can have significantly slower transfer rates because they spin slower and/or have less data per track.

And don't forget that a drive which is advertised as having a peak transfer rate of 100MByte/sec actually transfers only around 50MByte/sec when accessing the innermost tracks (very end of the drive).

My personal experience with USB 3.0 is that it's just as fast as my internal SATA connection for sequential transfers, but it's a little slower on random access because of the extra latency inherent in the USB protocol.
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a b G Storage
October 30, 2010 1:48:21 PM

Yes, it must be your drive. I was getting about 80 Megs/sec yesterday over e-sata doing a clonezilla image of my main drive - WD 640 black to same.
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October 31, 2010 4:15:23 AM

mrdumost said:
Hello,
I am interested in buying a usb 3.0 dock, but hoping to know the average real world transfer rates? I don't really want to drop $90 on a dual usb 3.0 dock and pci card if I won't get much better transfer speeds than my esata dock.

What do you guys get in esata transfers? I was averaging 51 mb/sec when transferring 830 gb and that took hours and hours. I hear it was 90 mb/sec average would would almost reduce transferring files in half which would be fantastic in my book.

Thanks for any advice and insight into your vast knowledge!


I have 2 Samsung F2 5400 1.5 TB , 1 samsung 7200 1 TB, 1 Samsung F4 5400 2 TB, 1 Hitachi 7200 1 TB, and 1 WD Caviar Blue 7200 1TB.

I have Win7 ult 64 with latest jmicron drivers

I use a thermaltake black x esata dock with my drives. I stick one in the dock and one drive in a fantom drive enclosure. Usually I transfer files from esata to esata which gets me the 51 mb/sec average. If i transfer from my caviar black 640 gb within my tower, I can get 70 mb/sec average.

Usually I am going to backup or move my collection of tv shows and movies around by esata to esata. I am wondering if esata to usb 3.0 would be any faster? I am going to be testing a caviar black 2 TB to my caviar blue 1 tb by esata to see if speeds increase at all.

Thanks for the information so far.
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October 31, 2010 4:23:10 AM

elel said:
Yes, it must be your drive. I was getting about 80 Megs/sec yesterday over e-sata doing a clonezilla image of my main drive - WD 640 black to same.


What drives do you have? Dock or esata external?
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a c 342 G Storage
October 31, 2010 7:27:31 PM

You've raised an interesting question to which I certainly cannot give a good answer: will data transfer between one eSATA device and one USB3 device be faster than a transfer between two eSATA devices? I'm wondering what effect on this speed comes from the jMicron driver and how it is used - does it (and its resources, stacks, etc.) have to be shared between two eSATA ports when both are in use? Or, are two separate instances of the same driver loaded and run simultaneously, one for each port?

I would be that all the testing results that report data transfer speeds of about 70 to 120 MB/s are between one eSATA port and one internal SATA port.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 31, 2010 9:41:43 PM

I can't believe any disk class device driver would be so poorly written as to prevent concurrent I/Os to devices on two different ports. You don't need multiple instances of a driver in order for it to support concurrent I/O, any more than you need two copies of a browser in order to download multiple files concurrently.

The limitation, if any, would come from the bandwidth available between the port(s) and memory. For example, if you have two eSATA ports connected via a single 1X PCIe lane that runs at 250MByte/sec then you're looking at a PCIe bottleneck between two disks connected to those ports that can transfer more than 125MByte/sec each (it may work out to slightly less due to protocol overhead).

So in the end it's not going to be eSATA per se, but rather the I/O architecture of the controller that will make the difference. Exactly the same issues would apply to USB-to-USB transfers as well, and even to USB-to-eSATA if you were dealing with a controller that used a shared bus for both ports (an add-in PCIe controller, for example).
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a b G Storage
October 31, 2010 11:34:00 PM

mrdumost said:
What drives do you have? Dock or esata external?

I was copying from between two identical drives - they are the WD 640G black, which are 7200 rpm and 32 mb cache. One is mounted internally in my PC and the other is in a rosewill USB2.0 & esata enclosure. The internal one is connected to a sata 6g port supplied by an amd 800 series chipset. The external enclosure was connected to a built in motherboard esata port connected directly to the same chipset. That's all my info :) 
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November 1, 2010 2:03:24 AM

I was moving 3 1080p movies totaling 40.93 GB and it took 9 minutes or 77 MB/s. This is was from an internal Caviar Black 640 GB to a 1.5 TB Samsung 5400 RPM drive via esata to a thermaltake dock.

Has anyone tried usb 3.0 to esata? Thanks in advance?
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November 4, 2010 1:36:03 AM

Up, so anyone try what I will in the future when I get a USB 3 pci and usb 3 dock?
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November 14, 2010 12:19:17 AM

Best answer selected by mrdumost.
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March 12, 2013 2:03:13 AM

Combined eSATA/USB-port is not necessarily USB-compatible. One of our peripherals which functions in all USB ports, does not function in Samsung 400B:s combined USB/eSATA port
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September 11, 2013 4:56:02 PM

I have a Lenovo T420S with USB 3.0.
It is docked in a series 3 docking station and has an esata port.
I have been transferring files from the USB 3.0 port directly on the laptop to the docking station esata port.
I know the 4TB drive in the esata port is 5900rpm, The USB 3.0 Seagate GoFlex adapter is connected to a 7200rpm 2TB drive.
Transfer speed 133mb/s using TeraCopy 4hours 34 minutes for 1.45 TB.
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